Home News Newly implemented MTA agreement could complicate your transfer plans

Newly implemented MTA agreement could complicate your transfer plans

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By Carla Villasana-Acosta

Starting in the fall 2014 semester, Grand Rapids Community College will replace the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (MACRAO) for the Michigan Transfer Agreement, improving the transfer process for students.

This change has been discussed since 2012, when the legislature of Michigan incorporated a new boilerplate language to the community colleges appropriations bill. This focused on revising the MACRAO agreement, which has not been upgraded since 1972, in order to enhance the process of transferring general education courses from community colleges to four-year institutions.

The MTA was formed as a result and it was accepted by all the higher education institutions in Michigan. Students who start classes or change their major in fall 2014 or after will follow this agreement.

However, current students will have the chance to complete the MACRAO agreement requirements until summer semester 2019 as long as they don’t change their major after fall 2014. Once completed, the MACRAO agreement will continue to be accepted by four-year institutions even after summer 2019.

These agreements certify the transferability of 30 credit hours of General Education courses from community colleges to four-year institutions.  Students may transfer these credits without obtaining an associate degree.

However, the agreement’s credits are included as part of the 60 credits needed to obtain a degree.

“As a community college… we align our degrees with the MACRAO or the MTA so that if you’re earning an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science… you automatically fulfill the requirements,” said Erin Busscher, GRCC Transfer & Articulation Coordinator.

“If you earn a full associate degree, it’s a credential that you’ve taken a specific set of classes for a specific reason,” said Busscher. “…We still want to encourage students to get their associate degree.”

With the MTA, students must obtain a grade C or better to pass a course while the passing grade is established by each institution when using the MACRAO agreement.

Students will also be able to complete the MTA requirement using transfer credits as long as they take at least one course at the institution granting the degree. With the MACRAO, students are required to take at least 15 credits at an institution in order to receive a degree with the fulfilled agreement. Changes to the course requirements were made as well. In the humanities and social science section, students are required to take just two courses from each discipline regardless of the amount of credit hours.

A math requirement separate from the science section has been included to the agreement. Students are still required to take two science courses with one lab component.

Current students are encouraged to continue and fulfill the MACRAO agreement. However, those interested in following the MTA should contact an academic advisor for guidance at the GRCC Counseling & Career Center located in 327 Student Center.

For more information on MTA requirements, visit bit.ly/grccmta .